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Old 10-02-2016, 07:51 AM
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Default ‘Extremely disturbing’ ... Sambo sex offender umpired kid baseball games


September 28, 2016 3:52 PM
‘Extremely disturbing’ ... Sex offender umpired kid baseball games


Smithton School District officials assumed that since Dennis G. Cotton carried an Illinois High School Association patch on his sleeve that there was no danger in having the Swansea man officiate basketball and baseball games in the district.

On Monday morning, school officials learned Cotton, who had officiated games for at least a year in the district, was a registered sex offender. Cotton, 51, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after an investigation by the Swansea Police Department. He was charged with one felony and four misdemeanors Tuesday by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Smithton Superintendent Susan Homes called the situation “extremely disturbing.”

“We are extremely thankful that no incidents occurred with any of our children,” she said. “But this situation should open the eyes of every school district in the state.”

Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson said his department was alerted to Cotton working as an umpire for the Smithton district by another law enforcement agency. Johnson said Cotton did not disclose that he was working for the district on a sex offender registry form. Cotton is in the Illinois sex offender database because of a November 2003 Arizona conviction for an offense involving a 15-year-old.
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